Kohli praises coach Kumble

Kohli praises coach Kumble

The coach-captain relationship in cricket is a complicated one. While unlike other team sports, a coach in cricket doesn’t have the sweeping powers, he is vested with a significant say in matters relating to team selection and forming of strategies.

The art of building a successful association with a captain lies in a coach’s ability as to when to back out and when to put his foot down. After all, captain isn’t just a figurehead in cricket. However, when there are two strong heads in the same room with neither budging from his position, you then have a recipe for a fractured group.

Current Head Coach Anil Kumble is a man with great cricketing acumen and achievements that are unmatched for an Indian player. He is a man of conviction but when he has to chalk strategies with another person of strong character and opinion, he has to channel his standing both to cajole and nudge, depending on the situation. And the former leggie has handled his job with aplomb. While the wins India have chalked up is an obvious indicator of his success, his other big accomplishment has to be getting Kohli to control his aggression.  

“To an extent yes,” said Kohli when asked if Kumble has helped him exude that controlled aggression. “I was working on those things already on a constant basis. I wanted to learn from my mistakes and evolve as a person. Anil Bhai coming into play channelled it much better in terms of his experience. He was a very aggressive player in his head as well. But he knew when to use that aggression and how to channel it. So he has helped me in that aspect a little bit,” he noted.

Kumbe’s positive influence, Kohli acknowledged, can also be seen in the way bowlers are performing, especially spinners.

“What he has also brought into the side is the mindset of taking wickets as bowlers,” he pointed out. “He was a spinner but used to think as a fast bowler, he was that aggressive with his thinking. That's why he ended up taking the highest Test wickets for India. He was an out-and-out match winner and the mindset rubs on to the players in the change room as well.

There is so much to learn from him especially for the bowlers. The way he thought about getting batsmen out, the way he used to set them up. And the way he worked on his fitness and skills as well. So everyone takes a lot of inspiration from him. He has been a legend of Indian cricket and we are really glad to have him in the change room.”

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